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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

111th Congress Convenes Today

The new congress convenes today with three new representatives taking the oath from Virginia - anti-gun Gerald "Gerry" Connolly from the 11th District (NRA "F" rated in 2008), as well as two representatives that gave pro-gun responses on the NRA questionnaire - Glenn Nye in the 2nd District (NRA "AQ" rated in 2008), and Tom Perriello in the 5th District (NRA "AQ" rated in 2008).

With this in mind, Alan Korwin, author of numerous books on guns and gun laws reminds us that even though a number of the new Democrats elected to office last election campaigned as pro-rights, the leadership is unquestionably anti-rights. Yesterday Korwin wrote regarding an expected bill to ban certain semi-auto firearms and the firearms that are likely to be on the list:

The current gun-ban list proposal (from the 110th Congress - final list will be worse):

Rifles (or copies or duplicates)
M1 Carbine, Sturm Ruger Mini-14, AR-15, Bushmaster XM15, Armalite M15, AR-10, Thompson 1927, Thompson M1;AK, AKM, AKS, AK-47, AK-74, ARM, MAK90, NHM 90, NHM 91, SA 85, SA 93, VEPR;Olympic Arms PCR; AR70, Calico Liberty, Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle or Dragunov SVU, Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, or FNC, Hi-Point Carbine, HK-91, HK-93, HK-94, HK-PSG-1, Thompson 1927 Commando, Kel-Tec Sub Rifle;Saiga, SAR-8, SAR-4800, SKS with detachable magazine, SLG 95, SLR 95 or 96, Steyr AU, Tavor, Uzi, Galil and Uzi Sporter, Galil Sporter, or Galil Sniper Rifle (Galatz).

Pistols (or copies or duplicates)
Calico M-110, MAC-10, MAC-11, or MPA3, Olympic Arms OA, TEC-9, TEC-DC9, TEC-22 Scorpion, or AB-10, Uzi.

Shotguns (or copies or duplicates)
Armscor 30 BG, SPAS 12 or LAW 12, Striker 12, Streetsweeper.

Catch-all category (for anything missed or new designs)
A semiautomatic rifle that accepts a detachable magazine and has (i) a folding or telescoping stock, (ii) a threaded barrel, (iii) a pistol grip (which includes ANYTHING that can serve as a grip, see below), (iv) a forward grip; or a barrel shroud.Any semiautomatic rifle with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds (except tubular magazine .22 rimfire rifles). A semiautomatic pistol that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine, and has (i) a second pistol grip, (ii) a threaded barrel, (iii) a barrel shroud or (iv) can accept a detachable magazine outside of the pistol grip, and (v) a semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.A semiautomatic shotgun with (i) a folding or telescoping stock, (ii) a pistol grip (see definition below), (iii) the ability to accept a detachable magazine or a fixed magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds, and (iv) a shotgun with a revolving cylinder. Frames or receivers for the above are included, along with conversion kits.

Korwin writes also that the Attorney General gets carte blanche to ban guns at will. Under the proposal, the U.S. Attorney General can add any “semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General.”
Obama’s pick for this office (Eric Holder, confirmation hearing set for Jan. 15) wrote a brief in the Heller case supporting the position that you have no right to have a working firearm in your own home.

Some in the pro-rights community believe that Obama will not target guns immediately with the economy taking up most of his attention in the first months of his administration. Others believe that because he has not thrown enough bones to the far left of his constituency that he will appease them by seeking to ban semi-auto firearms. I tend to believe he will act sooner rather than later because that is when he will have the ear of the freshmen members of congress in his party. Even if he does act sooner, it will still be months before a bill would come to the floor.

But keep this in mind, at the end of Alan's email yesterday, he wrote that Sarah Brady is quoted as saying, “I have never been so confident.”

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